Monday, January 24, 2011

THE WHORING OUT OF OUR BRAND (BROUGHT TO YOU BY MCDONALD'S)

The integrity of our business slips away more and more every day. I see it. I hear it.

This week let's talk sales: NTR (non-traditional revenue). More specifically, let's talk about "studio naming rights." You know, where the sales department sells the actual "name" of a radio station's studio to a client. And suddenly, you're now broadcasting from "The Captain Crunch Studio." Yeah, super-wack...for a few reasons:


It confuses listeners. I've heard from listeners many times, that they actually think the DJs are doing all their shows from a McDonald's now. They just don't understand. And I don't blame them.

What about talk radio? I've heard top-of-the-hour IDs saying "Live from The Popeye's Chicken News Studio," only to hear the national Fox News feed seconds later. Really? So the national news guys are also broadcasting from said chicken establishment? Now that's just silly. And once again confusing.

It gets even weirder when a station who names their studio, runs a syndicated show who also names their studio. You get a local top-of-hour ID that may say "Broadcasting live from the Throckmorton Auto Insurance Studio," only to hear minutes later the syndicated programming saying the show is actually broadcasting live from The Harvey Schmidlap Car Audio Studio. Huh???

And they name everything now. The studio, the van, the traffic center. Ugh. They should name the promiscuous intern if they really want to get their brand "out there!"

I'll leave you with this. Look, I get it. Radio sales (and the economy in general) is in a world of hurt, and at the end of the day do I "get" selling studio-naming sponsorhips? Sure I do. If it helps keep the lights on, whatever. But sales and programming peeps, at least do this:

-Pick a name that fits your format...and that doesn't sound silly. I once did afternoons where my traffic guy announced he was giving his report from "The Bimbo Bread Traffic Desk." I nearly pooped my pants when I heard that.


-And limit the brand to five syllables or less, please. Swear to God, there is a major market station that not only sells the name to their freeway system's "traffic camera," but the name is ridiculously long. You'll here a break that says, "Okay, let's check the 101 Freeway and take a look at The Rio Vista Hermosa Casino, Resort and Spa Traffic Cam." Not kidding. Make it stop, please!

*the actual brand names in the above article have been changed to protect the guilty. Except for "The Bimbo Bread Traffic Desk." That was the real name, and too ridiculous to change.


9 comments:

  1. amazing timing... had a sales guy hounding me about doing this.

    I think the best thing we can do in programming... (the dollar is usually more powerful than us)... is try and word these in a way where our audience won't think we're broadcasting from "McDonalds"

    Something like: "broadcasting from the Hot 101 studios in Los Angeles... powered by McDonald's... I'm lovin it... this is L.A's... Hot 101!

    If nothing else... to keep the clutter and confusion to a minimum. Sometimes the verbage of liners / ids can make all the difference... sometimes I feel for the voice guys that have to read gramatically incorrect liners... we won't name any stations... but I'm sure you've heard em! (We are the station to listen to for you can win?) Seriously?

    Great post! Keep em coming!

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  2. JoJo, tell me you're kidding on that last sweeper? "For you can win?" REALLY?????????

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  3. Soon, songs will be played because they're sponsored...not because they're any good. (As if those types of situations haven't happened in the past, "under the table" and behind the building...)

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  4. my old station has essentially whored themselves out to coors light. not that it doesn't fit the brand name, but their website wall paper is coors light, it's the coors light studios (and they run a syndicated morning show that has their studios named as well, that's gotta sound bitchin' on the air.)

    When I was there I tried to keep that clutter to a minimum by having them sponsor giveaways. Its the big Ozzy ticket giveaway brought to you by blah blah blah only on blah blah blah fm. Or when we did large scale giveaways, a calendar, a cd or whatever.

    Not a lot of that going on where I am now, but I'm not sure if that's due to sale people who get it or just the poopy economy.

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  5. Hi, I am Kevin "Slow Jammin" James sponsored by Mrs James and my show Slow James presented by Coke Zero is aired on many stations that are sponsored by Heinz. The promo for my show says that the Upcoming show Promo is sponsored by Crest. My vehicle is wrapped with sponsor logos and each hour I change my clothes to reveal a new sponsor. It seems like as lot but you get used to it. BTW, this comment was sponsored by the LA Times.

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  6. Wowwwwwww..... So SAD!!! Im reading the post from my "Verizon Droid X" phone and layin in my "Franks Futons and Furniture" couch wondering how far the industry will ho before it crumbles.. speaking if crumbling have you checked out the foundation beams at "Harry Hardware" store..

    so back to the subject of the "Industry".. which by the way is the name of our night club were gonna be at this weekend located at 1029 richmond dr in the "Best Buy" parking lot who by the way is having a sale this weekend...

    Okay that was a confusing conversation to read.. that's how listeners are gonna start feeling about tuning in. Why can't sales gi back to basics and sell spots, get creative on those.. look how good tv commercials did with creativity. Such as Jack in the Box and Geico with the Gecko. You don't see them on TV shows running threw episode to get point across...#DAMNSHAME

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  7. Bravo! Speak on it my homie...speak on it.

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  8. SO ON POINT MY FRIEND!

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  9. I call this "NASCAR"ing of your stations equity.
    Most sales people just want to slap a sticker on your car...they say it won't slow the car down...uh, wanna bet!

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